Curriculum & Requirements

In the curriculum of the Department of Classics, students study the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations through their languages, texts, and artifacts. Courses are available every semester in the Greek and Latin languages at the introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels.

For classics majors and non-majors alike, there are offerings in Greek and Roman literature, history, politics, mythology, rhetoric, art and archaeology, and religion — and all of these classics courses require no knowledge of the ancient languages. There are also opportunities for independent and collaborative research.

The department offers a wide selection of courses, seminars, and occasional tutorials that provide a comprehensive view of the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome. The program for majors is designed to develop a command of the classical languages, to introduce students to the techniques of textual and historical analysis, and to survey the Greek and Roman worlds through literary, historical, and archaeological evidence. The classics major thus acquires a familiarity with the subtleties and intricacies of inflected languages, an ability for creative expression through the translation of prose and poetry, and a critical knowledge of texts, material culture, and institutions from the ancient Mediterranean world. The classics major's academic experience here can be enhanced by participation in first-rate study abroad programs in Rome and Athens.

Requirements for Majors

A minimum of 10 courses is required for a major in classics. To satisfy the language requirements of the classics major, a student will typically take at least one semester of an author-level course in one of the languages (Greek or Latin) and complete the intermediate level in the other. Normally, majors take no fewer than eight courses in the original languages.

We welcome both those students who come to Holy Cross with training in one or both languages and also those who will start one or both languages here. Students who are beginning the languages will have the full sequence of language courses available, and those who have studied the languages in high school will find they have multiple courses at the advanced level to choose from each semester. Students with AP credit in Latin may be placed in 300-level Latin courses but do not normally receive credit toward the major.